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Niagara County, CSEA reach agreement on temporary layoffs due to COVID-19

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Posted at 3:18 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 17:13:31-04

NIAGARA COUNTY (WKBW) — Niagara County officials announced Tuesday the county has reached an agreement with CSEA, which represents approximately 800 Niagara County employees, on a plan for voluntary, temporary layoffs that will begin May 8 and continue through July 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials announced a plan to "ReStart, ReThink and ReConfigure" just last week as the county makes preparations to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we stated last week when we announced our ReConfigure Niagara initiative, Niagara County, just like families and businesses across our community, would have to make tough budget decisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also knew the sooner we were able to make such decisions, the better we would be in the long run," said County Manager Rick Updegrove.

“As a result of Governor Cuomo’s executive orders, County operations have been significantly curtailed, creating a temporary situation where the workforce can be reduced without a negative impact to operations. Furthermore, revenue projections indicate that labor costs for 2020 need to be reduced," Updegrove continued.

Officials believe this will impact 10 to 20 percent of the 800 county employees represented by CSEA.

The county says it will identify which employees are selected for the voluntary temporary layoff initiative based on job duties. CSEA members who take the layoff will maintain seniority, leave accruals and health care benefits for the duration of the layoff.